We had the good fortune of connecting with Drew Kennard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Drew, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My parents raised me in a household that valued hard work alongside creativity. Both of my parents had professional careers but they also each had side work that fulfilled their needs for a creative outlet. My Father worked in Advertising and my mother in Oil & Gas, but both worked as freelance food writers for various publications, as well as publishing a book together. As I moved into the professional world, I naturally fell into a similar pattern. I work in Business to Business sales as my day job, but also manage a Youtube Channel, Outdoor Indoor Texan, that is centered around BBQ, Southern Cooking, and Wild Game recipes. I too have previously worked in freelance writing centered around food, but the Youtube Channel is now my main creative focus, and something I’ve enjoyed thoroughly.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My wife and I both bonded when we started dating partially because of our shared love for all things food. She comes form a large Southern family that reveres passed down cookbooks and recipes, and my family has a similar track. In the last few years, I got more and more into BBQ, Southern classics recipes, and other home food hobbies like pickling, growing chili peppers, making homeade hot sauce, etc. As I meandered through my journey I started to share things more and more on my personal Instagram account and started picking up more and more food oriented followers. Eventually I came up for air, and realized I wasn’t posting pictures of our family life anymore, instead my entire feed was nothing but cooking projects, and dishes. So I decided to go head first and start a Youtube Channel and separate Instagram page. I had been watching other channels for years, and finally said to myself, why not try? I work towards making content that focuses very directly on how to successfully make the dish, instead of working on celebrating me as an entertainer. I’d often get frustrated perusing How To videos on something I was researching because the Youtuber spent so much time trying to create a star moment for themselves rather than making sure the viewer had every bit of knowledge handed to them to be successful at the recipe. I love passing knowledge from my experience researching and developing recipes and have had a great time interacting with my followers as we discuss food and new ideas. My biggest challenge at the beginning was learning the technology side, editing tools, SEO optimization, and other back end pieces of production. I’ve really enjoyed learning through each video and set goals to improve with each step. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my venture into Youtube work is to just start with anything and keep improving on the fly. If you wait for the perfect moment, perfect camera, best lighting, etc. you will find yourself never crossing the start line.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is an excellent city for a first timer, and tackling it with a local really is the key. So many of our best attractions aren’t exactly clumped together or easily found. (in a perfect non Pandemic world) If the week was centered around excellent food, I’d take this guest on a sampling on the best of each world. Restaurants that come to mind as standouts: Brennan’s for white tablecloth French Creole. MAD for ritzy see and be seen environment and worldly modern cuisine. A walk around Asiatown for soup dumplings, salt and pepper pork, hot pot, Korean BBQ, Pastries, and so much more. UB Preserv for Chris Shepherd’s perfect snapshot of what makes Houston… so Houston. Pappas Steakhouse for the ultimate steakhouse experience. Pho saigon for Pho and Bahn Mis. Pinkerton’s, or Truth, Or kIllens for BBQ. La Lucha and Field and Tides for Gulf Coast staples. Ninfa’s on navigation for the birthplace of Tex-Mex and then across town to El patio for a few Blue Margarita’s at Club No Minors. This list can go on and on…. If it’s drinks, we’d have to swing by Anvil for the pinnacle of mixology in town, then 8 Row Flint for ranch waters and rare bourbons, then maybe stumble around Market Square downtown since there’s so many great bars a stone’s throw from one another.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would have to attribute much of my creative success to my parents, whom both raised my sister and I in a household that always valued and celebrated creative expression. We were involved in music and art at an early age, and that has carried itself up to my present adult life. Much of that creative focus in our household also surrounded the appreciation of food. Both my parents worked in their free time as freelance food writers, simply because they held a passion for the subject matter. We as a family found ourselves immersed in the discussion of food on a daily basis, and by way of osmosis, it’s still a very big topic in my life now. The other person who deserves the lion’s share of recognition for my present day successes, is my beautiful wife, Savery. She is my partner in the kitchen and beyond. I would not be here today without her undying support to chase my passions.